Kyle Bosch scored with under two minutes remaining and the Melfort Mustangs came away with a 3-2 win over the visiting Flin Flon Bombers on Wednesday.
That tightens up the middle of the standings even a little more as the Mustangs (25-16-6-3) move into a fifth place tie with La Ronge, and both teams are just a point back of Nipawin for fourth place and home ice in round one.
Alex Rondeau and Seth McCulloch also scored for Melfort while Shawn Parkinson made 27/29 saves.
Donavan Houle-Villeneuve and Tristan Lemyre scored for the Bombers (33-12-5-0) and Jacob Delorme made 28/31 saves. The Bomber loss just about wrapped up top spot for Battlefords, as Flin Flon now trails the first place Stars by 15 points with eight games remaining.
After winning their fourth straight game, the Estevan Bruins no longer hold down the eighth and final playoff spot – they’ve jumped past the Humboldt Broncos into seventh place, with an 8-0 win over La Ronge on Wednesday. Keenan Rancier made 23 saves for his second shutout this season.
Isaiah Thomas led the way offensively with a goal and two assists. Local product Ryder Pierson finished off the scoring, and a four goal third period with his first goal of the season and had a goal and an assist on the night. Tyson Manz (1g-1a), Erik Boers (1g-1a), Cody Davis, Eddie Gallagher and Griffin Asham-Moroz also scored.
The Bruins (25-21-3-1) are now a point up on Humboldt for seventh spot, and still have a game in hand on the Broncos.
It was a penalty-filled third period, which also included La Ronge goalie Liam McGarva receiving a match penalty in the dying minutes.
The Ice Wolves (27-19-3-2) are now tied for fifth place with Melfort and have played one more game than the Mustangs.
The Kindersley Klippers are hanging around in the playoff race, winning their second straight game on Wednesday, 5-3 over Notre Dame.
While no one is quite mathematically eliminated from post-season contention, the Klippers (21-23-6-1) are the only team on the outside with a realistic shot at this point, and now the team they’re chasing is Humboldt, and they sit four points back, even in games played, both with seven remaining.
Captain Brendon Borbely scored twice for the Klippers (21-23-6-1) while Devon Cyr (1g-1a), Sean Michalevich and Scott McKenzie added the others. Steven Bacovsky needed only 14 saves for the win as the Klippers out-shot the Hounds 58-17.
Riley Kohonick made 53 saves for Notre Dame (17-28-4-2), while Cole Stevenson (1g-1a), Sho Takai and Olivier Lepine did the scoring. The Hounds’ playoff chances are just about mathematically done with the loss, now sitting 13 points back of Humboldt with seven games to play. Melville is in a similar boat, 17 points back with nine games to play.
Friday night’s action will include Estevan with a chance to mathematically eliminate Melville, and La Ronge can do the same to Weyburn. Battleford heads to Flin Flon with a chance to wrap up the pennant, and the game that likely matters most to both teams involved has Yorkton travelling to Humboldt. The Terriers are looking to hang on to a home ice position while the Broncos all of a sudden find themselves in eighth, looking for breathing room between themselves and Kindersley.